Specialty Risks > War Zone / Independent Contractors

Independent contractor life, medical and disability insurance supplemental coverage for war zones

First of all, are you provided with DBA Workers Compensation?

DBA Workers Compensation is often US federally mandated coverage required by contractors before work on contracts can start.  There are private contracts that do NOT require DBA and in this case jump to the next section to learn about Personal Accident Coverage. However, DBA can be provided to you as an independent contractor by your prime contractor or if you are the prime contractor bidding for the job, then you would need to obtain this coverage if you are told it is required.  Learn more about how to obtain your Defense Base Act Workers Compensation proposal.  


Even if you have DBA coverage, it is highly recommended to supplement coverage with a personal accident plan that includes AD&D and APTD coverage and supplemental medical benefits that will cover claims related to illness/ sickness, being DBA has many pitfalls to it's coverage benefits as they are primarily on the job only accident claims.  

Not required to carry DBA ? You have a private contract abroad ?

So in the cases where you are not required to have a Defense Base Act Workers Compensation policy, those that have a private contract should still provide themselves and their employees with personal accident coverage while abroad.  Same is true for those that do have DBA benefits; it is wise to supplement DBA coverage as there are many pitfalls to just having DBA as a stand alone coverage.

Why is Defense Base Act / DBA Workers Compensation lacking in coverage?

Although the US Gov't mandates that your US based contract agency provide Defense Base Act Workers Compensation Insurance (DBA), many in the industry feel that limits of DBA life, disability and medical coverage are too low based on income levels vs. the level of income and risk involved.  

Established in 1941, the primary goal of the Defense Base Act was to cover workers on military bases outside the United States. The act was amended to include public works contracts with the government for the building of non-military projects such as dams, schools, harbors, and roads abroad. A further amendment added a vast array of enterprises revolving around the national security of the United States and its allies. 

Under the DBA, injured (due to accidents and on the job) workers are eligible to receive weekly benefits for time lost from work or lost pay. Further, if the injuries are to the extremities resulting in a permanent impairment, they can be entitled to receive permanent disability benefits, limited by the governments table of calculating the benefits based on the Average Weekly Wage (AWW).

DBA is essentially the equivalent of stateside (US) Workers Compensation and as such can be potentially limited to only covering you while on the job along with being limited in it's total scope of coverage, depending on the amount of income produced.  Many feel they must supplement DBA to adequately be fully insured for any such catastrophic loss due to accidental death or dismemberment as weekly cap limits under DBA may not be sufficient.

What to do about limitations in DBA coverage or having no coverage at all?

High Limit Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage, underwritten by Lloyds of London, provides that safety net of coverage to supplement your DBA plan through your contract work.  Note that this special coverage not only covers you ON THE JOB but OFF THE JOB as well -- DBA could be potentially limited in this regard.  


Additionally, certain limits of coverage under DBA for Disability could be reached without coming close to providing the full amount of monthly income you may require, which typically needs to be at 65% of income.  High Limit Accident Insurance with Accidental Permanent Total Disability as a Rider can ensure that you are fully insured for such catastrohic losses to you or your family. \


Further, the third part of DBA is providing medical benefits for INJURIES sustained on the job.  Also emergency medical evacuation for INJURIES on the job.  What is missing ?  What happens if you are injured "off the job" or fall sick or ill on or off the job?  Not covered under DBA!  Need evacuated due to a medical illness ?  Not covered!    


These are the potential pitfalls of just relying on DBA Workers Compensation coverage without properly supplementing with private personal accident coverage.  Such personal accident plans would pick up and pay claims immediately where DBA would fall short or not pay.  DBA claims by the way take sometimes 6 to 12 months to pay (that's the US federal government claims process for you).  We've heard many stories about brutal claims issues associated with getting DBA paid and in a timely manner.  Supplementing with an additional layer of personal accident protection solves many problems and real pitfalls should you have a serious claim while working as a contractor abroad.

So what are the benefits to High Limit AD&D + APTD and medical supplement plans ?

Benefits are payable in addition to any other plan, including DBA.


Benefits are payable for loss caused by exposure to the weather or in a conveyance that results in disappearance or sinking and the body is not found within 365 days of the accident.  Benefits will be paid on the presumption of death.

Benefits may be taken in a single lump sum or in equal annual installments.

Covers accidental bodily injury sustained while the Certificate is in force and which results in loss within 365 days of the date of the accident.

War or acts of war and / or terrorism may be covered under this plan by applying for such and paying th additional premiums.

Countries worldwide where exceptional risks require supplemental personal accident insurance:

AFGHANISTAN, ALGERIA, ANGOLA, AZERBAIJAN, BURUNDI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, COLOMBIA, CONGO REPUBLIC, COTE D'IVOIRE (IVORY COAST), DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, EGYPT, ERITREA, ETHIOPIA, GEORGIA (FORMER USSR), GUATEMALA, GUINEA, HAITI, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ (incl. KURDISTAN), ISRAEL, WEST BANK (ISRAEL), GAZA STRIP (ISRAEL), JAMMU (INDIA), JORDAN, KASHMIR (INDIA), KENYA, KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KRYGISTAN, LEBANON, LIBERIA, LIBYA, MADAGASCAR, MALAYSIA, MOROCCO, NEPAL, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN, PHILIPPINES, QATAR, RUSSIA, RUSSIA -CHECHNYA, RWANDA, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SIERRA LEONE, SOMALIA, SRI LANKA-NORTH & EASTERN PROVINCES, SUDAN, SYRIA, TAJIKISTAN, THAILAND, TOGO, TURKEY, UKRAINE, UGANDA, UZBEKISTAN, VENEZUELA, YEMEN, ZIMBABWE